Call Centre Workforce Planning Using Erlang C in R language

Call centre workforce planning

We all hate the experience of calling a service provider and being placed on hold for a very long time. Organisations that take their level of service seriously plan their call centres so that the waiting times for customers is within acceptable limits. Having said this, making people wait for something can in some instances increase the level of perceived value.

Call centre performance can be expressed by the Grade of Service, which is shown in the percentage of calls that are answered within a specific time, for example, 90% of calls are answered within 30 seconds. This Grade of Service depends on the volume of calls made to the centre, the number of available agents and the time it takes to process a contact. Although working in a call centre can be chaotic, the Erlang C formula describes the relationship between the Grade of Service and these variables quite accurately.

This article explains how to use the Erlang C formula in the R language to manage a contact centre by calculating the number of agents needed to meet a given service level. This approach is extended with a Monte Carlo situation to understand the stochastic nature of the real world better.